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The Problem of Self-Reference: Universal or Particular?
06-17-2013, 04:57 PM,
The Problem of Self-Reference: Universal or Particular?
The Problem of Self-Reference:
Universal or Particular
“Feed from the Root, Not the Fruit”
By David A. McElroy

A student of the Holy Bible, I had to ask why that venerated document of documents is cited as the authority for so many differing doctrines and beliefs. Why the confusion? Can we count the costs?

Theology, the study of God and His acts, has been hobbled by scholarly insistence that man's grammar holds the key to understanding divinely inspired scriptures. While believing in the inerrancy of God's Word, questions of redactory criticism reasonably arise. The old Hebrew scrolls lacked punctuation, and I argue that man's grammar is unnecessary and inappropriate, limiting our study of God. We need to reconsider our study methods.

Strictly speaking, we suffer an identity crisis perpetuated by the natural modes of human perception, thought, and language processing. We are separated from God, and in futility we try, from our particularly biased views, to grasp God's universal message.

As I herein strive to exposit the method needed to read the Bible wholly, I will carefully explain and demonstrate each step before moving to the next. I will then employ the step(s) in this dissertation. As the various steps are employed together, you will find me using English with some very different syntax in very precise ways to convey a fuller meaning. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance will be used with the Holy Bible (KJV). I also recommend an older unabridged dictionary in this study. Think Noah Webster. My method may seem like a new discovery, but I would say it is rediscovering an old way of handling language more in line with the scriptures' origins.

Dennis Feucht, an artificial intelligence expert, defines the problem in the action of teaching torn between existential and empirical modes of exposition. He speaks of Representational Theory, sometimes called Teaching Theory. It explains our incomplete learning process. "A representational theory is that which produces a representation of some domain of knowledge. This theory is expressed in a given language. The particulars of the domain are often called "objects" and can be physical objects, concepts, relationships, or abstractions in general," Feucht says. "Representations are abstractions of the objects they represent. Consequently, not all that is true of an object will be found in a representation of it." Teaching offers representations less than reality. (1.)

This is, Feucht says, because "a theory which abstracts from the object only those attributes of interest is optimal, but contains simplifying assumptions leading to multiple, possibly conflicting, interpretations of the actual objects. To resolve contradictions among interpretations and select the correct interpretation, other kinds of theories are needed." In other words, the more explicit the teaching becomes, the less contextual knowledge is shared. Human semantics are divisive. Teaching based upon teaching down through time piques our interest divisively compounding our perceptual losses in a blinding blizzard of explicit data. Divide and conquer, remember?

It is only natural for us to be explicit in conveying information. Most teachers function on a theory of behavior, or causal theory defining logically necessary relationships between behaviors. It operates within a locality with particulars in the structure of the object, and pursues a direction in the relations between cause and effect. This is natural to our ability to recognize existential and empirical objects. However, such theory leads to static and terminal conclusions, and God is neither static nor terminal.

God the eternal prime mover we seek to learn more fully, but methods we employ subtly stymie our study goals. We presumed that since the biblical books were scribed for man's edification, man's normal grammatical handling of language is paramount for understanding. Was God's nature, His manner of language, given much thought?

Scholars have been using linear means to study a manifold God with only limited success. Shouldn't we use manifold means to arrive with evidence to prove and know a manifold God?

The community of faith's divisive plurality has discredited the Holy Bible in the public eye and troubled the church(es). Science has become the state religion, the champion of atheists, because we fail to perceive the line of defense offered by God in a whole Bible reading. How can we cause the scales to drop from our minds' eyes?

The whole meaning of many Bible passages has been denied because of words broken down in semantics, even discarded, by scholars intent upon a particular frame of reference determined by behavior or context as they saw it. A great variety of disciplines and philosophies have produced a bewildering array of renderings, each defending a certain particular frame of reference. Scholars want to be explicit, professional, and true to their school or denomination!

Did Christ not say that we shall live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"? Matthew 4:4 And shouldn't we desire the whole of each of these holy words? Remember, a property of holiness is wholeness--- all of the parts working together integrated.

Professionals seek to be explicit in representing desired attributes abstracted from the reality which they share less of in authorized teachings perceived as optimally relevant. When they do, they betray their particular frames of reference--- their indoctrination.

Causal theory's linear nature denies access to manifold perceptions, a better frame of reference is universally accessed studying function rather than behavior. This resolves identity with the theory of function, or teleological theory. It is relational in holistic study, arriving, after studying all the parts, with a sum greater than all the parts in the whole. It provides for an existence independent of, or greater than, the sum of the parts, much as your mind cannot be discerned by counting brain cells. We need to study the whole Bible in a holistic manner, the whole of each word, to truly study the Holy One.

Being Supreme requires God's Self-Reference to be wholly true, axiomatic, truthful on all levels at all times as an eternally transcend-ent body of law manifest in nature's holistic reality. Should we prefer God's Universal Self-Reference, or our Particular Self-Reference?

A word may have meaning, but without the reference, or context of a sentence or a circumstance, it is unrelated or irrelevant.

Grammar is the gridwork man has overlaid his reality with, screening his perceptions for items relevant to his particular self-interests. It provides him with finite reference points by which coordinates may be explicitly communicated in a finite domain of knowledge from a finite perspective. (2.)

Man first had undivided perception of an unpunctuated chaos, or paradise. He learned to communicate it in lines of teaching (sentences) which formed great gridworks that coordinated to form ideologies blocking our vision with lines of thought delivered by those with credentials to teach in official channels of social direction.

Teaching grammar prepares the way for credentials hidden in our language--- without credentials we are not permitted to teach. Linguist Ray Solomonoff said "a language favors certain versions of reality not just once those versions have matured, but earlier, in their formative stages; the way a scientist is taught to talk encourages or discourages new or old ways of thinking." (3.)

In many areas of the Bible, the study of grammar has failed to provide unambiguous answers because grammar is man-referencing and not God-referencing. Could we not expect God to expect us to reference ourselves to Him--- the biblical premise?

"We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way--- an agreement that holds through our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language," declared Benjamin Lee Whorf. (3.)

Being parties to that agreement, many have pursued the study of grammar as though it were the "Holy Grail" of biblical theology, yet that venue of study leaves them confessing unsolved mysteries and disputing various interpretations from various perspectives.

God's Nature, God's Word, is axiomatic, or self-referencing. Axioms have more than one facet of being, and are self-evident. An axiom presents both sides of the proverbial coin, containing relations between reciprocals bound and hidden within the whole principle or principal of the real being it identifies. It can bear both true and false perspectives, or good and evil aspects, as reciprocal poles of one real being. "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things," God plainly stated in Isaiah 45:7 .

"The heavens and the earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away," the Son of God declared in Matthew 24:35. "In the beginning was the Word..." we read in John 1:1. What is our true reference in these words, that we might know them and believe them to be true?

God's Word, being axiomatic, Self-referencing, needs axiomatic proof to be resolved among church denominations and Bible scholars to confront the public and secular scientists of the dialectical materialism discrediting our faith.

Axioms reflect "is" rather than the choice of "this or that". An axiom depicts a multi-faceted state of being or process, defining an object or an action. It is self-referencing because it exists within the dynamics and structure of the real world. We might be aware of, or relating with, only one facet, but that does not preclude others from existing or relating elsewhere.

Study the holistic in a bi-polar relationship, such as Einstein's famous equation of energy equaling matter times the speed of light squared. Perceiving the explicit, the reciprocal becomes available implicitly, abstractly, in this self-referencing mathematical statement. It signifies a whole process in reality.

Mathematics enjoys the status of being a "pure" language free of semantics revealing implicit information. Perhaps this is why God first gave us the scriptures in Hebrew and Greek, unique languages in which alphabet letters have numeric values also.

Unfortunately, I know some people have gone so far as to distribute tracts warning that the Bible should never be studied for any implicit or hidden information. But if one believes the Bible is truly God's Word, why shouldn't we have all of it? Is the devil in the details?

Man's grammar obscures knowledge holistic because he is schooled to semantically pursue choices of "either---or". He directs himself onward with a forked tongue in branches diverging in particular doctrines and partial truths. His perspective prevails.

Adam and Eve were warned about the fruit of the branches of the tree of knowledge of good and evil! God told them to accept Him wholly in holy communion. A property of holiness is wholeness, all of the parts working together as they should. But Satan tempted Eve to pick and choose her fate, and lead Adam to depart from the wholly Holy One as well.

Some scientists, anthropologists and archeologists, believe a human female was the first to speak words! Remember that special "agreement that holds through our speech community"? Our speech is a tie that binds.

Robert Wright, a senior editor of the The Sciences, reports that "every language implicitly deems certain concepts are more fundamental than others. These more fundamental concepts are the building blocks out of which less fundamental and more elaborate concepts are constructed. Primitives (fundamental concepts) tend to be compactly encoded; the most basic verb in English--- be--- is brief, whereas less basic ones, phosphorylate comes to mind, are not." (3.)

Wright states "the fact that 'be' is compact, and that it is generally quicker to to talk about the present than the future or past, speaks volumes about the uses to which language is put and about the ontological assumptions guiding everyday life." (3.)

Translating between languages can be very challenging. Seeing from different perspectives yields different translations.

Barry Hoberman, a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School, says "for hundreds of verses - (Old Testament) - any English rendering is speculative or at best provisional. Sometimes context alone is a reliable guide to a word's meaning. But scholars can look for help outside the Old Testament, using what is called the philological comparative method--- one of the most controversial strategies in all of biblical studies." (4.)

The nature of the Hebrew language is axiomatic and holistic. It not only had no punctuation originally, but no vowels either.

"A typical word in a Semitic language is derived from a three-consanant root," Hoberman notes, "which itself covers a semantic range, or area of meaning. Most roots occur in more than one Semitic language and the general meaning of a root is usually the same from one language to the next. So for example, the common Semitic root k-t-b covers the general idea of writing and things related to writing. It yields not only the verb 'to write', but also, in one language or another, words for book, author, scribe, document, list, library, bookstore, school, desk, office, marriage contract, amulet, foreordained, secretary and dictaphone. A much broader range of meaning attaches itself to a Hebrew or Arabic root than to an English infinitive." (4.)

While we have confidence in understanding the greater part of the Bible, how can we master those few obscure words of antiquity?

The reference problem surfaces in the philological approach to discovering the meanings of obscure words. Hoberman reports the evidence in his work, Translating the Bible. He says that "in the comparative philological approach to Old Testament interpretation a lost meaning of a word in Biblical Hebrew is sought by studying the root's cognates in other Semitic languages. Scholars look for a particular meaning that is well documented in another language to provide them with the true meaning of their obscure Hebrew word." (4.)

So we find official translators and teachers with credentials being explicit in identifying particulars befitting their observed context in a language rich with holistic references implying more than they can explicate. (Assuming you have read this and understood this essay so far--- which is all rather mundane information.)

How limited are our perceptions? What are our credentials?

While an explicit meaning may indeed be quite correct in a particular frame of reference, or context, we should not strip words of their implicities referencing others. One reality has multiple aspects integrated and articulate beyond our particular perceptions. And God's articulation is eternally infinite, unlike man's.

It is like saying "I got him," without specifying the linkage, or articulation. Ambiguity arises. Did I get him by the arm, or by the throat? Did I phone him or flag him down? The articulation may or may not be explicit, but the whole of him was communicated with.

Studying God's Universal Self-Reference requires the pursuit of axiomatic study beyond grammar to obtain a wholly greater value completely holistic. His Word is whole truth on all levels of reality. Our perceptions divide truth, as prisms split the spectrum of light!

We should look for implicit relationships within the template found when we correlate axioms taken from existential and empirical modes of exposition, common evidence. The Bible has many instructions and clues to unraveling the mystery it contains in the primary message observable in a superficial reading. Hermeneutics are infinitely simple in a self-referencing axiomatic study of holistic value.

Archeology, history, and linguistic study have shown, through such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, that our Bible's integrity has been well preserved through the ages. It appears, in some ways validated, that God did direct the writing, dissemination, and preservation of His writ of testimony in Self-referencing His story of history for us. Unfortunately, the multitude of recently published versions of the Bible, tailored to all sorts of philosophies and cultural bents, have muddied the spiritual waters with confusion, obscuring the true Holy Writ. People prudently ask: "Which Bible is authentic and correct?"

Axiomatic study can prove this, and many more matters, in offering the olive branch of true correlation between science and religion.

Contemporary means of correlation to date have been inadequate, says David L. Wilcox, in his Taxonomy of Creation. In his Dec. 1986 article in the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC AFFILIATION, he noted scriptural correlations with science weren't unattempted. Wilcox said "such models do not show one-for-one identity, however. Differing models of what scripture means may be held with the same scientific model, and people with identical scriptural interpretations may differ in their scientific models. In general, the scriptures' proclamations about the nature of God are easier to understand than its occasional statements about the specific techniques He used at the particular times."

Wilcox concludes that "the true scandal of theism is not that it concedes too much to materialism, but that it refuses to concede so much as the spin of a single electron.'

Axiomatic classification can resolve the problem of functional identity in correlations between the languages of science and religion! Both the atheist scientists and theist scholars may be using English, but they are not speaking the same language!

Axiomatic study negates a reader's private interpretations, which humiliates some because it challenges all in a wholly holy exposition. "No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation," says the apostle in II Peter 1:20.

Seek to avoid semantic division determined by a particularly cultured and privately biased understanding based upon limited perceptions. God's Word comes from His universal perspective, not your particular perspective.

To avoid personal interpretation, or judgement, and discern the whole meanings of words in my KING JAMES BIBLE, I use ALL of the definitions found in the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries of STRONG'S EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE. This forces me, as a prerequisite, to consider wholly what I found for each biblical word. This has changed my life!

This type of exposition is done by sequencing the entire list of definitions in a logical order, or sentence. (Unfortunately, dictionaries recently published with a different philosophy include some definitions that do not fit in a logical sequence, as modern language is being corrupted. Rely on Noah Webster, unabridged.) In reading through the list of meanings, or relative facets or aspects, you will have looped around the axis, or center, of that reality which the word in question bespeaks. For the Canon, rely on STRONG'S.

Education in the Western mindset teaches us to choose only one definition, or facet of relationship identified in the dictionary definitions of a word, the one befitting the context you observed. You miss the axis, or core value, of the real object or process that a Bible word identifies in ancient scriptures scribed by men educated in the Eastern mindset. You missed that axis in axiomatic blindness scaling our human eyes, our perceptions, exponentially through lines of teaching in official channels particularly formed naturally. Without credentials, you are not permitted to teach, and credentials are issued by those professing particular views.

Remember that human communication is linear, requiring us to focus on a particular object in an observed context to identify relationships of interest and convey information explicitly.

To demonstrate this axiomatic method of word study, let us consider the English word 'punctuation', which speaks of something important to man's written communications. According to WEBSTER'S NEW TWENTIETH CENTURY DICTIONARY UNABRIDGED, Second Edition (1955-1983), this word means: 1. to insert punctuation marks in order to clarify, (make explicit) 2. to interrupt from time to time, (make periodic) 3. to emphasize, (make priority).

So, axiomatically, when we punctuate, we periodically interrupt the flow of information to make particular references explicit and emphasize our priorities. And when we do, we betray our frame of reference of reference, the context we are observing and the relationship(s) we are considering. But remember, the Hebrew Bible was originally unpunctuated (I believe for God's reasons!), and that a set of punctuation marks steering readers toward a certain context or emphasis do not necessarily preclude the existence of others in the message.

You, the reader, are invited to participate in a little exercise at the end of this dissertation, to demonstrate this axiomatic principle. Look to THE MAN for an opportunity to test your perceptions!

Taking the Bible's words and verses wholly sheds new light on those areas of confusion and mystery which have been confounded by partial semantic renderings biased with personal experiences and persuasions. They are often well meaning, but only partially true.

While for many words this method adds nothing new to our knowledge, it adds much in those areas of scripture where our manifold God is speaking of Himself and His functions directly, matters of His Being and His Creation for which our grammar and semantics are inadequate!

The axiomatic method works well in our concordance's Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, and in older English dictionaries also. You may need to verify the English words after finding them in the definitions listed in the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries. Remember that human language is linearly particular, and not universally manifold. Our grammar is man-referencing and not God-referencing. The very nature of our language is a rejection of God in a fallen world.

Correlating the recently obtained axioms of man's empirical sciences with those of ancient metaphysical scriptures provide much evidence now unknown to most. In the assembly of interrelated axioms a pattern, or template, a structure, emerges to graphically reflect the manifold geometry and dynamics of reality in a vast architecture relating both physical and metaphysical realms in a personal Universal Self-Referencing Logos which maps infinitely God's eternal Being.

The architecture of being can be mapped! Typology is important in the topography of the Being Supreme, as forms change while the dynamic principles do not. The great lines are cast upon the map, and we travel their channels through time and space. We can never escape, but we can choose direction and increase perception! Trust and Obey. There is no other way!

Man has repeatedly rejected God's Word when he was presented with knowledge he had not confirmed nor understood. I cite the laughter of many in times past, who could not accept the statement we find in II Peter 3:10-12. It says the heavens and the earth will melt away in a powerful fire. People later accepted this when corroborated with the empirical evidence of nuclear physics and other sciences such as astrophysics and cosmology.

People long denied that Moses could have written the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, claiming humanity was too primitive to have had a written language at that time. Archeology wrecked this contention with the discovery of a black stele bearing the Laws of Hammurabi, which dated to the time before Abraham, the great Hebrew patriarch. (5.)

Getting back to representational theory, I speak of the Bible as a representation authored by God, scribed by men. It is much like a family photo album, with the first photo being a portrait of our great patriarch, God Almighty, who created the heavens and the earth.

If the photo is a personal portrait, and the Bible portrays the personality of God, we tend to focus upon the face of it and not the back-ground. Religion ignores the data in implicit details while adoring the beloved in the picture. Science, on the other hand, will undertake an exhaustive empirical analysis without ever acknowledging the person pictured in detailing the image ad nauseum. This is because they have been taught to see and speak differently. Truly, the superficial message is primary, as clergymen assert, but we lose whole relations with our rejection of implicit information and so forfeit the empirical evidence needed to refute the arguments of atheistic dialectical materialists.

Court cases have been won upon the basis of conclusive evidence appearing innocuously in the background details of photographs.

Axioms can resolve the objections of those claiming contradictions, once perceived. They unite the complementary aspects, the reciprocals, in the whole truth of real beings. The double (or multiple) meanings of Hebrew words demonstrate this. This is to say each part of of a contradiction, where one would naturally be directed to pick one but not both, as in "ascending and descending", is really dynamically valid--- in this case identifying a vertical transit.

"O Lord, how manifold thy works!" we read in Psalm 104:24. Yes, it is many-fold, in many forms, for many reasons, comprised of many parts. Yet man vainly employs linear modes through grammar, hoping to explicate universal manifold reality by representing particular knowledge explicitly and definitely in an infinitely implicit domain.

Douglas R. Hofstadter, in his 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, reveals the paradoxes of our manifold reality which defy linear philosophy. He says such paradoxes imply the concept of infinity in truth. Regarding the state of self-reference in a being real, he says "this is the pearl," (Page17) the explicit particular can never contain, convey, or prove the whole of infinity, although you may have a representation, a symbol, like the numeral "0". "In this pearl," Hofstadter explains, "it is hard to see a strange (indefinite) loop. That is because the strange loop is buried in the oyster--- the proof. The proof of (consistent axiomatic formulations) hinges upon the writing of a self-referential statement, in the same way as the (contradiction) paradox is a self-referential statement of language."

Words and math symbols develop, or evolve, through time and use in the same way as the characters come together to form logical sentences or equations. Both represent an established set of relationships in a state of being or process. We usually forget the very intricate details and relationships and recall only the symbolic represention, the bottom line, the equation we select for teaching interesting attributes abstracted.

Recall E=Mc2, the symbolic equation of Albert Einstein, the famed physicist. This is the bottom line of a very long series of mathematical exercises, arising from a long series of mathematicians, reflecting the whole physical spectrum of energy seen from one direction mathematically. It says energy transcends from matter at the speed of light squared. Inherent in this equation is its reciprocal.

Of course, "societies appear to develop in the fashion of children," says Denise Schmandt-Besserat, "whereas one-to-one counting may come early, almost innately, abstract numbers do not." (6.)

Schmandt-Besserat states that "abstract numbers, sometimes thought of as a mere subset of the alphabet, actually ushered it in. Indeed, during the first three hundred years of writing, there were no literary, religious, or historical texts, except for a small number of lexical texts--- catalogues of signs, used to train scribes--- the only written works produced between 3100 and 2900 B.C. were the ledgers of accountants: lists of names and quantities of goods. There were no symbols for verbs, adverbs, or prepositions, which would have allowed the expression of entire sentences. The human species had to build its abstractions one block at a time." (6.)

Numbers are found scattered throughout the biblical books. Some are often repeated. It is a given that God does never "shoots the breeze", but speaks only with purpose. What do the numbers mean?

Ivan Panin was once one of America's greatest mathematicians. He studied and documented what he saw as God's signature in the Holy Bible. Panin was a Christian who saw something in the fact that both the Hebrew and Greek languages used their alphabet characters as both letters and numerals. He documented a seven-fold pattern self-referencing itself throughout the canon. He said this pattern evidenced the Bible's authority in the same manner as the intricate patterns in the artwork of a dollar bill are used to verify its authenticity. (7.)

Panin presented his claim to to the Nobel Research Foundation, which refused to consider such a religiously significant work. But nobody refuted Panin's claim. Imagine the consequences to be faced if the Bible was scientifically validated with a Nobel Prize!

Considering that the Bible's sixty-six books were written over some 1400 years by many different scribes, Panin's claim was truly outstanding! Seven, you might recall, signifies completion, or wholeness.

In 1987, Jewish researchers at the Technion Institute in Haifa, Israel, reported finding a series of hidden messages in their Hebrew Bible. They used numbers often repeated in the Old Testament as clues to encrypted patterns, much as a tapestry is woven in a program of numbered coordinates.

THE BIBLE CODE, a book by Michael Drosnin, speaks of the Bible code uncovered by Dr. Eliyahu Rips of Israel, a mathematician. Drosnin reports that in using the old unpunctuated Hebrew texts, decryption reveals hidden messages laid out "like a crossword puzzle" with vertical, horizontal, and diagonal readings.

Dr. Wayne Scavelar, another mathematician researching hidden Bible messages, wrote THE SECRET CODE OF CHRIST. He says "Jesus was talking on two levels...", hinting to "those that have ears, let them hear."

J.R. Church, who hosted PROPHECY IN THE NEWS, a syndicated Christian television program, also reported hidden Bible messages in books he authored concerning the Psalms and the Song of Moses.

I find a Bible tapestry woven of a single braid codified and knitted in an infinitely complex mobius strip that ends where it begins with one path in two. The numbers should not be ignored as trivia! Every part of God's Word, as originally scribed, has value even if we don't quite understand it yet. And in axiomatic study of ALL parts of ALL words, the newer, corrupting, additions of newer editions will be exposed like clinkers are discerned among fine ashes! This is because they will not fit the whole in proper relation, just as an octopus tentacle should not be grafted onto your head! Many ancient biblical texts have survived to provide good testimony by which to counter the onslaught of spurious versions of both the Old and New Testaments.

As for the "two paths in one", it is a matter of our choosing the direction of our lives--- for or against God. It is a matter of how we see. While two souls may be traveling the same path, their directions and outcomes can differ as much as "ascending" and "descending"! How shall we map the ways of our lives and find a light to steer by?

Part Two Coming….
In Christ's love for Truth, Justice, & Liberty for All,
David A. McElroy

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